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February 20th, 2016


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08:36 pm - Political Musings
Currently, 3 states have decided on their delegates for each party's presidential nominee, and I'm fairly happy with the results. I'm in the odd position of not really caring one way or the other who gets the Democratic nomination. I prefer Sanders' policies, but in addition to the fact that having a female president would I think be good for the US, I also think Clinton is likely more electable. However, I'm not certain of this, and the best indication I can think of is whether she can win the Democratic nomination. If by some (rather unlikely from my PoV) chance, Sanders wins the nomination, then (at least from my PoV) he's clearly also more likely to win the presidency.

I'm far more interested in the Republican nomination and remain thrilled that Trump is in first place. I think he'll be a disaster for the Republican party and will be easy for either Clinton or Sanders to beat. I'd also be happy with Cruz. The only Republican candidate who worries me is Rubio - his policies are different from Cruz & Trump (whose policies' are exceedingly similar), but from my PoV Rubio is no less horrific, merely differently so.

Also, regardless of whether or not Obama is able to replace Scalia, Justice Ginsburg is the oldest justice and I'd like for her to have a chance to retire and be replaced by a liberal, thus insuring the first liberal court for a very long time. From my PoV, this is vastly more important than whether Clinton or Sanders becomes president, as is the fact of either of them becoming president rather than any of the Republican options.

My other hope for the presidential race is that regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, they do so decisively and well before the convention, which seems likely given there are only two people in the race.

OTOH, if both I and the nation is very lucky, there will be at least 3 Republican candidates, and hopefully 4 or 5 by the time of the Republican convention and there will be a messy convention fight the likes of which we haven't seen in 40 years, or better yet a "brokered" convention, where back room dealing decides the candidate, which hasn't happened in more than 60 years, and since the choice would almost certainly not be Trump. At this point, Trumps' hideous supporters would be justifiably upset, and Trump would very likely run as an independent. In fact, if Trump runs as an independent, I don't care who the Republicans nominate, since they'll lose very badly with Trump getting (at my best guess) around 7-15% of the vote.

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:rjgrady
Date:February 21st, 2016 04:51 am (UTC)
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Whichever Democratic candidate wins is fine by me. All I care about is electability. On basically every issue where Bernie's position or strategy is different than Clinton's, but more similar to mine, Bernie's position is also less popular. From the standpoint of passing a compassionate, reasonable progressive agenda once elected, likely starting with a divided government, there is very little to choose between them.

Clinton is too much of a hawk for my taste, but she has proven executive experience. Sanders has thin accomplishments as a legislator, but I like the idea of resetting the center of the Democratic party closer to where he is.

A brokered convention that nominates Rubio is the best of all GOP outcomes from my perspective, but every step along that process feels dangerous. I like Trump because he will probably lose, but I like Rubio because there is a chance, however remote, Trump could win the general. Which would basically be like living in Mordor under Sauron.

Since Bernie favors strong gun control, while also favoring a relaxed position on personal gun ownership, and would like to see Snowden exonerated or otherwise rehabilitated, and prefers basic federal programs to elaborate market-driven ones, his "democratic socialism" is especially copacetic to my leftist-libertarianism.
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From:heron61
Date:February 21st, 2016 05:47 am (UTC)
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but I like Rubio because there is a chance, however remote, Trump could win the general. Which would basically be like living in Mordor under Sauron.

A Rubio presidency scares me far more than a Trump one - both Republicans and Democrats in Congress loathe and would (at most) not make an effort to work with Trump and actively opposing him would be popular with members of both parties. However, Rubio is a Republican insider who could get congressional Republicans to work with him, and that scares me a whole lot.
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From:rjgrady
Date:February 21st, 2016 06:00 am (UTC)
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Ok, sure. But I like the part where Rubio probably doesn't start a nuclear war or start building a gigantic wall around Mexico.
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From:benlehman
Date:February 21st, 2016 06:39 am (UTC)
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Republicans in congress would work with Trump. I don't see why they wouldn't.
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From:heron61
Date:February 21st, 2016 06:45 am (UTC)
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The degree to which he's openly mocked various prominent Republicans (including John McCain), the fact that his policies aren't all remotely mainstream Republican, and that the Republican national committee seems to hate him more with every passing day inclines me to believe that no one except possibly the far tea-bagger fringe would respect or be willing to work with him.
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From:benlehman
Date:February 21st, 2016 07:53 am (UTC)
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George W Bush implied that John McCain's adopted child was a secret bastard, and they still managed to work together.
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From:mindstalk
Date:February 21st, 2016 11:37 pm (UTC)
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"I don't see why they wouldn't."

Because there's a good chance they want different things. Trump had been the sanest of the GOP candidates on economics, e.g. defending taxation in the first debate. Part of what's so disturbing to the elites is that he's popular as an openly racist economic populist ("Social Security is great, just not for immigrants"), contradicting the official line of covert racism and economic craziness. It's a common pattern -- someone wrote that France's National Front is one of the few Keynesian voices in Europe.
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From:alephnul
Date:February 22nd, 2016 04:01 am (UTC)

the entire formulation is backwards

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I agree with John that a Republican legislature would probably undercut President Trump, in similar ways and for similar reasons to why the Democratic legislature undercut President Carter. It might be less extreme of an effect since a lot of the Republicans in congress are themselves iconoclastic radicals with no respect for party hierarchy and structure, but I suspect it would still be real, particularly since Trump isn't a hard-line right-wing Republican in a lot of policy positions.

But legislature doesn't start with the President, so the question is, would Trump veto far right laws passed by a hard-right Republican legislature? I doubt he would. For instance, he may disagree with the party that Planned Parenthood is a good organization, but I don't think he'd actually veto a budget that zero-funded Planned Parenthood.
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From:heron61
Date:February 22nd, 2016 07:55 am (UTC)

Re: the entire formulation is backwards

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I can easily see him vetoing all manner of congressional bills after they don't agree to put forward legislation to accomplish one or more of his more wacked-out goals, like registering all Muslims or whatever. Trump is exactly the sort of person to veto everything coming out of Congress as something somewhere between a gesture of spite and a power-play, in response to congress not doing what he wants.
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From:alephnul
Date:February 22nd, 2016 10:15 am (UTC)

Re: the entire formulation is backwards

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Yeah, I can definitely see that being a possibility.
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From:heron61
Date:February 28th, 2016 10:23 pm (UTC)
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It sounds like McConnell is already planning on separating Congress from Trump as much as possible, of course, mostly that's due to McConnell strongly believing that Trump running against Clinton would be a disaster and he also doesn't want the GOP to lose too badly in Congress, but should Trump win by some bizarre chance, that's hardly starting things out well. In any case, it's a lovely article, it sounds like the GOP is more of a hopeless mess than I expected. Of course, the biggest reason that Congress wouldn't work with Trump is (as the article mentions) the Koch brothers and similar big GOP backers really don't like him.
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From:benlehman
Date:February 21st, 2016 06:38 am (UTC)
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It is extremely unlikely that the Republicans will have a brokered convention. They have a system of escalatingly winner-take-all primaries (starting with South Carolina, tonight, where Trump ran the board) which nearly ensure that one candidate will have a majority of delegates going into the convention.

Both parties have implemented these policies after the 1980 Democratic party floor fight. (The Democrats use more proportional representation but use super-delegates to the same effect.)
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From:heron61
Date:February 21st, 2016 06:48 am (UTC)
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I think contested is more likely than brokered, but contested looks likely - Trump has already lost one state and he'll lose more. Also, if Trump get a clear majority, the Republican National Committee will try to find some way to stop him, since they really don't want him and really do want Rubio.
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From:benlehman
Date:February 21st, 2016 07:54 am (UTC)
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Listening to the party elites talk, they're not nearly as afraid as Trump as you're painting them. They already have dossiers on "how to run if Trump is the nominee" that they're circulating.

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